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Samsung WB1000 review




  • Recommended by TR
Samsung WB1000


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Digital cameras just keep on getting better and better, which means that my job gets harder by the week. It's rare indeed that I come across a genuinely bad camera, and even average ones these days are packed with advanced features and have the kind of performance and image quality that would have been exceptional just a few years ago, so it gets harder to find one that really stands out from the crowd. However once in a while a camera will cross my desk that is unmistakeably something a bit special. I have one such rarity today in the shape of the new Samsung WB1000, a new advanced compact from the same series as the superb WB550 travel camera and the also impressive WB5000 superzoom.

The WB1000 is a technically advanced camera with a lot of useful and interesting features. Its basic specification compares well with rival compacts, with a 12.2 megapixel CCD sensor, a 5x zoom f/2.8-5.6 Schneider Kreuznach lens with a zoom range equivalent to 24-120mm and optical image stabilisation, and a new three-inch high resolution AMOLED monitor. It offers HD video recording with stereo sound recording, full manual exposure and HDMI output. It's hard to think of any recent cameras from other manufacturers with which to compare the WB1000. While it's not quite up to the exalted level of advanced cameras such as the Canon G11 or Panasonic LX3 it's certainly head and shoulders above most point-and-shoot compacts. Perhaps a fair comparison might be the Panasonic FX550 which also features a 5x zoom lens and manual exposure. It is also about the same price, retailing at around £220-230 depending on where you look.

It has to be said though that the WB1000 is not the most attractive camera in the world. The design of the body is obviously derived from Samsung's NV series compacts such as the NV100HD, and even incorporates the novelty analogue dials for battery life and memory card capacity previously seen on the NV9. It solidly made with a strong metal body and well mounted recessed controls, and is available in either black or the brushed metal finish seen here. The WB1000 is surprisingly compact considering its ambitious specification, measuring 97 x 61 x 21mm and weighing 184g including battery and card. The design incorporates a textured handgrip on the front and a strap lug that doubles as a thumb grip on the back, and the camera handles well, however the proportions of the body do look rather ungainly and the mis-matched textures look a bit scrappy.

Gus Ghanem

March 13, 2010, 3:02 am


If the specs. are indeed correct, then the obvious differences on the WB2000 would be: a new CMOS sensor with lower resolution and lower pixel density, 1080 Full HD H.264 video, 3" AMOLED 614,000 pixel display... The lens may not be quite the same, as the newer one claims Normal Focus Range of 50cm... Let's hope the WB2000 will have improved Image Quality!


March 13, 2010, 6:43 pm

There are even more surprise. 10fps continues shooting ability, 240fps to maximum 1000fps slow motion movie recoed.

Actually, I think for initial price at 350 dollars, even it does not improve image quality over wb1000(tl320), it is still good enough. Really, we can not expect much from a tiny 1/2.3 sensor. otherwise, what is the postion of those large sensor compact ones, like s90, lx3, and samsung own new tl500(ex1)

PK Son

March 14, 2010, 12:59 am

As impressive as the WB100 might be, the marketing accompanying the model in the domestic (as in Korea) market is staggeringly condescending. They actually pitch the model as a "miniDSLR."



March 14, 2010, 11:54 am

@PK - if I had a penny for every time a company thought its customers were stupid, Carlos Slim would be looking nervously over his shoulder.

Mind you, he probably does that already.


March 15, 2010, 2:57 am

Am I looking at the same camera as everybody else?.. The iso tests are awful and the cathedral shot (close up) looks ropey. The spec is nice but how is this getting 8/10 for IQ???


March 15, 2010, 2:51 pm

It turns the audio off when you zoom?! That's just ridiculous. So what if it's noisy, if you're recording something loud like a gig or air show, it's hardly going to be louder than the subject matter.


March 15, 2010, 3:02 pm

to joose.

You must do not understand a 1/2.3 sensor camera very well.

The photo quality of this one by standard is definetly above average of those 1/2.3 sensor compact camera.

Always remember, score is relative and only valuable when u comapre to same type of camera at same year.

Remeber tz7(zs3) got 10 of image quality here. really, there is no doubt. at 2009, zs3 is at top image quality of 1/2.3 compact cameras(If u can find a better 1/2.3 one at 2009, point out). this wb1000 is also a 2009 model, comapre to tz10, got a score of 8 is very resonable. There are plenty behind this one.

Do not use standard of dslr or even larger sensor compact camera to compare with.


March 15, 2010, 3:06 pm

I am sorry, tz7 only got 9 of image quality not 10. but u got the idea.

the fz38 got 10 ot it. and that one also use 1/2.3 sensor if am right.


March 15, 2010, 7:15 pm

@markma - Your right I don't know of another 1/2.3 sensor camera that is better because I'm too lazy to check ;) etc. What I do know is that the IQ is terrible and I'd rather have a larger sensor size than gizmo's that don't give me a better picture. For example one of the EXR Fuji's. These Samsungs always look good on paper but their IQ's are always subpar to me.

Nick Quattro

May 19, 2010, 6:25 am

I bought the wb1000. It turns itself on and drains the battery. I sent it in for repair and they damaged the battery meter, and did not fix the initial problem. I sent it back for repair again and they did not fix the battery meter or the initial problem again. They merely cleaned it and sent it back to me. I asked Samsung for a new camera since they are not capable of recognizing the problems with a fully detailed description or fixing the camera. Now they offered to exchange it for a Ec-TL210 which sells for more than a hundred dollars less! No hVGA+AMOLED screen, merely a TFT LED screen, a much cheaper camera. What an insult! GOOD LUCK with any Samsung product!! Even worse is their "customer service"!!

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